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Inquiry co-counsel appointed to the bench

Kate O’Brien, of the firm O’Brien White, serves as co-counsel on the inquiry into the Muskrat falls hydroelectric project.
Kate O’Brien, of the firm O’Brien White, serves as co-counsel on the inquiry into the Muskrat falls hydroelectric project. - Joe Gibbons

Kate O’Brien has been named to Supreme Court of N.L.

Lawyer Kate O’Brien, who has been acting as Inquiry co-counsel for the Muskrat Falls Inquiry, has been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

O’Brien will also be a judge ex officio of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador.

She will replace Justice David Peddle who resigned effective Jan. 31, 2019, according to a Government of Canada news release.

At the end of this afternoon’s hearing at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry in St. John's, Justice Richard LeBlanc asked all but the counsel for the parties with standing to leave the room. It’s not clear if the private meeting was related to O'Brien's appointment.

There is no word yet on what it will mean for O’Brien’s work on the Inquiry.

O’Brien was born in St. John’s and completed a degree in electrical engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1996, then began work on a law degree at the University of British Columbia. She graduated in 2002, completing her final year as a transfer student to the University of Toronto.

O’Brien articled at Smart & Bigger in Toronto, specializing in intellectual property.She returned to St. John’s with her family in 2003 and began work with her father, Gerald O’Brien, at O’Brien and Associates.

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